Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 9-1 win over the Chicago White Sox in the continuation of a four-game series.
Verlander (15-8) allowed one run on five hits with seven strikeouts for the Tigers, who bounced back from a 10-inning loss in Monday’s opener and won for the fourth time in their last six games overall. Brandon Inge belted a three- run homer and Johnny Damon added a two-run blast in the victory. Jhonny Peralta added two RBI for Detroit.
Freddy Garcia started on the mound for Chicago but left after two innings with lower back stiffness. Garcia (11-6) was dealt the loss with a line that showed two runs allowed on three hits. Lucas Harrell provided four innings of long relief and was charged with four runs — none of which were earned — on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Juan Pierre posted two hits and scored the only run for the White Sox, who fell to 4 1/2 games behind the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins, who defeated the Royals on Tuesday. Chicago also saw its seven-game win streak halted.
A slugger from both teams left the game early. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera lasted six innings but felt soreness in his shoulder, while newly-acquired Manny Ramirez of Chicago exited after he was hit by a pitch in the eighth.
In the home first, Damon’s towering two-run homer to right gave the Tigers an early lead.
The Sox trimmed their deficit in half in the top of the third inning. Pierre hit a one-out double and scored when Omar Vizquel followed with a base hit to right field.
However, a four-run effort in the bottom of the third moved the Tigers ahead for good. Harrell replaced Garcia to begin the stanza and the first batter he faced, Austin Jackson, reached first base on a fielding error. Jackson was then bunted to second before a two-out intentional walk to Cabrera.
Don Kelly ripped a single and Jackson scored, and another ChiSox error put two runners in scoring position. Another two-out base hit by Brennan Boesch brought home Cabrera and the rally was capped via Peralta’s two-run double to right field. Peralta was cut down at third to end the frame.
From there, Verlander cruised. He worked around a two-out single in the fifth and tossed a scoreless sixth. In the top of the seventh, A.J. Pierzynski hit a one-out double, but Mark Kotsay and Pierre both flied out.
Robbie Weinhardt closed it out with two scoreless relief innings for Detroit and in the eighth, Inge provided more insurance runs with a three-run blast that cleared the wall in left.
Garcia failed to earn his ninth straight victory as an opposing pitcher here…Verlander upped his career mark against the ChiSox to 6-9…The Sox still lead the season series, 8-5, including a 5-2 mark at Comerica Park.